Study of Nanomaterials’ Influence on the Structure and Properties of Metallic Alloys

In recent years, metals strengthening became the main challenge in the modern materials industry. The main scientific and industrial interest is improving the mechanical properties of ferrous and non-ferrous materials. This is traditionally done by means of an alloying process, heat treatment, or by affecting mechanically using methods such as ultrasound or vibration.

The main goal of our research is to present an alternative modification process by adding various extremely low content (up to 0.1wt.%) nano-components (ceramic nanoparticles, Carbon Nano Tubes (CNTs), Inorganic Nano Tubes (INTs). We also examine the influence of these nano-sized additives on bulk metal formation and strengthening mechanism.


Metallic Surface Treatment by Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation

Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation (PEO) is one of the most attractive surface treatment methods of advanced ceramic coating formation on metallic substrate. This technological approach is usually applied in so called valve metals (Al, Ti, Mg) to obtain advanced surface properties as high electrical insulation, corrosion and wear resistance, as well as excellent performance. Usually PEO process is applied in aqueous solution which limits the size of treated parts due to the system heating up. Our research team investigate an alternative approach where the process is conducted in molten salt. We found that the energy efficiency is nearly 6 times higher than in aqueous solution electrolytes, the coating is denser and shows almost three times higher corrosion resistance than traditional electrolyte due to the formation of the dense surface.

One of the main targets of current scientific work is to create an advanced bioinert and bioactive surfaces for their applications in medical devices such as dental and orthopedic implants.


Synthesis of Intermetallic Compounds by Mechanical Alloying

Over the past few years, intermetallic compounds attracted high industrial attention due to their advanced properties, including good oxidation resistance, high thermal conductivity and a high melting point. In our research, we synthesize different  intermetallic compounds (Ni/Al, TiAl, FeAl) by a mechanical alloying (MA) process whereby mechanical energy supplied during the milling acts to induce chemical reactions. This approach offers numerous advantages compared to traditional ones, including low energy input and high synthesis rate. Moreover, we found the optimal process parameters for creating nono-size intermetallic compounds.